|Occurred : 3/9/2007 18:45 (Entered as : 03/09/07 18:45)
Reported: 10/27/2007 9:33:54 PM 21:33
Location: Mattoon, IL
|Three extremely bright, blinking, white-orange lights sighted East of I-57 near Mattoon.
This sighting occurred while traveling in a car southbound on I-57 some ten or fifteen miles north of Mattoon. My speed was maintained at or near 75 mph throughout the incident. Skies were clear. Over the span of about five minutes, I gradually became aware of an unusually-bright whitish light visible intermittently through the trees at about my 9 o’clock position. It must have been blinking in and out, since the roadside woods do not obscure the eastern horizon continuously along this stretch of road. Eventually, this phenomenon began to strike me as something extraordinary, and I focused my full attention on it. Soon I came into a long stretch of road where the horizon was clearly visible. The light had nearly the hue of a sodium lamp, but was much brighter—more so than Venus, and comparable in magnitude to that of the incandescent landing light of a large aircraft viewed from a mile away, but having a much different quality. It blinked intermittently, sometimes flashing with a period from 1-5 seconds, sometimes remaining visible for 20 or more seconds at a time. The appearances and reappearances did not occur instantaneously; rather, the brightness grew continuously over a short period of time, say one third of a second. Shortly after coming into the clear area, this light was joined by two more showing identical behavior with regard to blinking in and out of view, etc. Each light was associated definitely with a certain area of space—that is to say, after disappearing, a new light would appear very near to the original location, so that the impression given was of three separate objects translating through space and periodically flashing in and out of visibility. During this entire incident, the lights (when there were three) showed what would be interpreted, had they been connected, as a slow counter-clockwise rotation, the motion of each light relative to the stars not exceeding about 3-5 degrees per second. This seems to indicate that they were either near and transla! ting wit h my vehicle at about the same speed (which seems unlikely, as they were extremely bright, but did not at all illuminate the fields and tree lines past which I was driving) or that they were far away and moving at some unknown speed. The formation of lights occupied about a thirty degree sweep of sky, extending from 20 to 50 degrees above the horizon. After about two to three minutes with three lights visible, all abruptly blinked out of existence and did not reappear.